The idea of WHO's Healthy Cities came out when rapid urbanization brought about causes that affect human health in Europe. These are population growth, degrading air and water quality, crowded housing, traffic congestion, and poor waste management, to name a few.
For a long time, keeping healthy condition had been considered as individual's responsibility. However, complex factors, such as quality of water and air, access to safe food, living environments, urban environments, and education, affect each other that are beyond individual's effort. Cities' various condition need to be developed properly in order to improve the standard of city dwellers' health physically, mentally, and socially.
Based on such recognition, WHO's Healthy City seeks to involve as many people as possible whose fields are not necessarily health and medical care in order to establish the system of assuring city dwellers' health.
Accordingly, we take the following roles in cooperation with the Alliance for Healthy Cities.
HCSO work with the member cities of the Alliance for Healthy Cities to stage the "Healthy City Tour" as an event to disseminate the idea of Healthy City and to support its implementation.
We organized the event in Yawatahama City in Ehime Prefecture, Obihiro City in Hokkaido, and Ureshino City in Saga Prefecture in the past.
We also started the "Healthy Partners" project. "Healthy Partners" a cooperative body that addresses health promotion in communities. Members are voluntary health groups, municipalities, research institutions, support groups, and support companies. HCSO contributes to the health promotion in local communities by supporting healthy partners’ activities.
HCSO supports Healthy Cities member cities and organizations for the prime objective of strengthening cooperation through exchange of experience and knowledge about Healthy Cities Approach between AFHC members cities and Japanese counterparts. HCSO invites them to Japan for sharing with each others the experience and know-how of various projects of Healthy Cities.
HCSO work with experts from various fields to implement projects focused on designing Healthy City as follows.
A. Projects concerned with urban spaces and facilities such as hospitals, offices, housings.
B. Projects concerned with health promotion such as events and product development.
HCSO work with the member cities of the Alliance for Healthy Cities to conduct questionnaires. These surveys give a grasp of action for Healthy City by each cities, and their challenges as well as needs.
HCSO publish magazine specialized in Healthy City movement and projects both in Japan and overseas. Contents include special features, interview with mayors, case studies, and topics related to health promotion.